The bachelor life has a lot of stereotypes around it. From the “bachelor chow” of Futurama, to the inexplicably upscale apartments of the cast of Friends, late night TV has certainly formed an opinion on what a bachelor’s life is: sad, alone, and either fleetingly temporary or eternal–nothing in-between.
Living now as a true bachelor, out of college and without roommates, I’ve been trying to figure out how to avoid some of these stereotypes. Let’s face it, a lot of these ideas are stereotypes because they are really easy to fall into. Piles of dirty dishes, an almost-empty refrigerator (save for expired condiments), and laundry strewn across the hallway floor would be, well, the default options, really. They are what arise when the minimal amount of effort is put in.
Some people, especially in the communities I grew up in and live now, would push very hard on a bachelor to save themselves through marriage. Well, just hang on.
I had the letter from the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians come to mind here: “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” (1 Corinthians 7:8)
In the broader context of 1 Corinthians 7, Paul goes on to suggest marriage as a thing to do if you can’t control yourself. How’s that for a concept: Marriage as a last resort!
I’m in no hurry for marriage myself. Its a nice idea, and yes, I’d be lying if I said the loneliness was never present, but there are some freedoms people forget about, some of which I will list/brag about below:
- You can walk around your domicile in your underpants without scathing comments.
- The trashcan fills up slower!
- No battling over the thermostat. In fact, lower utility costs in general while simultaneously having the perfect temperature.
- Less hair in the shower drain; or at least, only your hair.
- You can go to bed as early or as late as you choose.
- Being a minimalist is really easy — just don’t buy furniture!
I bring these up as a counterpoint to the one area non-bachelors will encounter bachelors and shake their heads sadly at: The frozen dinner section of a grocery store.
Look, I love cooking. Really! For a bachelor, however, frozen dinners are a really nice ace up the sleeve. For one thing; its really, really annoying and expensive to buy fresh food in quantities one person can reasonably consume before it goes bad. I have to alternate between buying spinach and romaine lettuce because they’re only sold in sizes of large, massive, and LITERALLY AN ACRE OF ROMAIN LETTUCE. Like really; 3 entire heads is the smallest amount!? I guess I’m blending up lettuce and mixing it into my oatmeal tomorrow…
This is mitigated somewhat by meal prep, but even the lowly bachelor needs variety from time to time. Even your favorite meal grows old after a week of nothing but said meal for lunch.
I just want to put it out there: maybe the sad-looking 20/30-something selecting a Stouffer’s lasagna for one isn’t chronically depressed. Maybe he just has the facial expression of anyone in a grocery store and wants one or two days this week where he can come home from work and throw something in the oven. Really, the frozen lasagna is better than, say, another night of pizza or Chik-fil-a, no matter how nice it is to have another person smile at you and say “my pleasure” when you give them your order.
Anyways… back to my dinner of a banana, peanut butter, and a dole salad kit. Stop giving me that look of pity; I made Pasta Aglio E Olio yesterday.